(U.S. link: http://amzn.com/B009EWCLFM)
Advanced Reading Copy
To Be Published: June 25th 2013, Montlake Romance
Being roped into her father's newest questionable undertaking, is not part of Libby Hamilton's plans. No, overseeing the transformation of an old decrepit schoolhouse into an old-fashioned ice cream parlour is a far cry from getting back up on her feet, finding a new job and a place to live. But since losing her old job as an event coordinator, due to a 'slight' error in judgement, she really has had no luck finding anything else and so she might as well help her father out in the meantime.
Since his wife's death in a car accident, a year and a half ago, Tom Murphy has simply maintained an existence. He doesn't know how to handle his teenage daughter, Rachel, and communication isn't one of his strong suits on the best of days. What he can still find some gratification in, is his work as restoration specialist. So when he is approached to restore the old schoolhouse in town to its former glory, he can't wait to get his hands dirty.
At first, Libby finds the contractor her dad has hired rather grouchy, but very swoon-worthy. She enjoys needling him with endless questions, just to see if she can get him to crack a smile. Even though Tom does his best to ignore Libby at first, she is making sure that is quite impossible with her insistent chatter, and he must admit, he secretly enjoys the light flirting. In fact, he is starting to get a kick out of Libby's entire family. Her father is more of a hinder than a help on the project and absolutely clueless when it comes to preparing for a new business, but he is friendly and so enthusiastic, Tom is inevitably drawn to him.
Libby's work on the ice cream parlour has caused her to change her focus in life a bit. She finds she is actually enjoying the small town vibe, and being close to her family, more than she thought she would, and not missing the big city quite as much. Part of that revelation came in the form of a certain 'smouldering' contractor, who could make her stomach do flip flops. Libby was falling......and fast.
Inevitably, the Hamilton family in general, and Libby in particular, draw Tom into their circle and out of his isolation, and suddenly he finds himself starting to enjoy things again. That is.........until the guilt sets in and he questions whether he deserves any of this.
YAY!! Excited to have found another "new" (to me) author, with a writing style that leaves me with a smile on my face!!!
Aside from the main characters, whom I've tried to describe a little (not too much) above, there is one secondary character that absolutely jumped off the pages in this story, and that is Peter Hamilton; Libby's father. He gets a special mention, because he is such an endearing personality. I actually would love to meet him. He cracks me up!
The snippets of trivia Peter sprinkles through the entire book, add an educational and at times hilarious component.....I mumbled (snickering) "did not know that!", more than once.
Anything you might look for in a contemporary romance novel?.....This book has it!
Compelling characters, a touch of drama, crazy family members, complicated relationships, a lot of 'feel good' community, some healthy sex scenes, fabulous humour and a great light romance!!!!!